Bear with me a little here through this little journal entry/letter to Dave while he was gone…I’ve got to remember all the stuff that happened while he was in China this last time.  It was a nutty week over here in the desert.  

He arrived home on Tuesday and I was kind of a little bit over the moon about that little fact.  You don’t realize how much happens until you try to explain it after hardly being able to talk for eight days. The time zones are just so different and we have had all kinds of things going on including non-stop visitors in town which has been so fun, but visitors and China aren’t a good combination for a lot of talking.  

So here are some edits from journal/emails during the week that I am too tired to re-write up all fancy with a message:)

I kind of relapsed after pneumonia with chills and aches and low-grade fever and my results came back that I have pretty high levels of valley fever (weird disease you get in the desert).  Both doctors (ER and regular) had mentioned that was a possibility and my neighbor (a nurse) found a list of all the exact symptoms I’d been dealing with so I was pretty sure before the blood tests even came back.  Apparently this is something that stays in your system for months and months.  Some people don’t even know they have it and others pretty much get knocked off their feet with it depending on the levels.  Mine are high. So I’ve been back to a couple different doctors and another CT scan to try to figure this whole deal out.  I guess you can treat it with anti-fungal medication but it doesn’t get rid of the actual organism causing the problems so most times when they use that medication (that’s not overly safe…too strong), there are relapses so we’re trying to figure out the best course of action.

I wish doctors would call back when they get results instead of having me call over and over again.

Thank heavens my parents were in town to help for a few days.  

They ran scripture study the couple mornings they were here:

 …and took me to lunch where we got to discuss the world:

 And sat on the sidelines of the sports with me.

They had come specifically to watch Max and Elle in a few of their matches and made the arrangements before they knew Dave was going to be gone.  

Tuesday was rough because Elle was playing a tough team but pulled out singles 7-5, 7-5 (I love tight matches like that).  It went so long that Max’s game started and I had to run back and forth from the doubles to the volleyball all the while trying to text Dave the scores and catch up with some friends and our parents at the game (Dave’s came too) and a friend from out of town with her girls, and figure out the gymnastics carpool that fell through in the middle of it all.  Elle and won for doubles but the volleyball team had it’s first loss against one of our rival schools.  It was a heartbreaker!  Man I get into those games!  So sad!   

Lucy’s art teacher wanted me to come to her art class that same afternoon because they were shading portraits that she drew for them and shading so she thought Lu might get frustrated.  I couldn’t go so I had a special little lesson with her to go over shading and made sure she felt really confident and dropped her off at our friends’ house (who’s daughter goes to art class with her) so they could get her back and forth since Grace and Claire would be gone to gym.  She was there until 7:30 (those friends are the BEST), and when we got home before I could blink an eye she hustled and pulled out her markers and started coloring that special portrait with bright yellow markers.  I was SO tired and so done with the day that I lost it.  I was so mad because she wasn’t following directions and she knew she wasn’t supposed to color that darn thing.  But it was a pretty dumb thing to get mad at.  She is the artist for crying out loud.  

I made my parents sleep in our bedroom since Dave was gone and it was easy as pie for me to sleep in with the girls…except that the smoke alarm low battery started chirping at 4:20am.  I went out and lugged in the ladder from the back yard and took it down and then lay in bed until time for scriptures with my head racing…have we taught Max what he really needs to know before he takes off for college?  Will Lucy still love art as she continues to lose her vision?  I need to get Lu registered for the BBS registry.  What’s up with Elle starting to cough again?  Blah blah blah, stuff that made my heart race for a couple hours which led to not doing so well that next day running on low sleep.

After my parents left Dave’s little sister and her six kids came to stay with us.  It was a houseful of party for a few days.  We played tennis and swam at our neighbor’s, met up with the cousins, had a night with extra cousins to decorate Easter eggs, met up with all the girl cousins and sister in laws to go to Women’s Conference:

Three of the four cousins this age:

 …with their mothers:

 I’m so glad I get to go to this conference with these lovely ladies:

I am one lucky mother.

I loved Elder Eyring’s thoughts he shared at conference.  You can read them HERE.

After conference we met up with even more cousins:

 …and sisters:

I am SO grateful for all these strong women in my life and the influence they have on me and my girls.

We also watched more of Max and Elle’s games:

 …had a beautiful birthday get-together for a beautiful friend:

Had a family gathering for one of Dave’s cousins and her husband who got called to be mission presidents on the other side of the world and are leaving in July:

What a great family.

Those missionaries they’ll be working with are sure lucky.

Some of the younger cousins:

The “olders” joined Lucy (who was much too busy to look up for the picture) to color:)

My friend organized a picnic at the park so we could gather with our friends visiting from Ohio.

 Love these ladies:

 …and kids:

 …and that gorgeous temple back behind them too.

I had to make a few decisions on the house with replanting some things that hadn’t made it through the couple freezes we had here this winter and we finally got our garage doors painted…hooray!

Then there’s all the stuff I didn’t get pictures of, the school projects we did, the jobs we didn’t do (oh man we were doing so well for a while there and the last couple weeks have fallen apart), the graduation prep, college housing decisions, prom preparations, ACT prep, the continual problem of children ignoring their mother, after-school discussions, late-night worries, and on and on.

Anyway, it just seems like a whole heck of a lot can happen in a measly eight days and I’m more grateful than ever to have Dave home to share it all with, the good and the bad.  Because that’s what makes life so interesting.  But I’m sure wishing away the “bad” of this dumb valley fever so my brain could take it all in a little better and not always feel so foggy.  Hopefully these doctors will be able to help me get back on track.


  1. 12:51 AM ? …. There are a lot of us Night Owls up at this hour….eh? What a frustrating deal-e-o! Sending healing thoughts for a speedy recovery!

  2. I am so sorry to hear you have valley fever! I know how tough it can be! My dad was one of the first cases in southern Utah (St. George) to get it so the doctors weren't familiar with it and wasn't treated properly. He's been on the heavy treatment (2 diflucan a day) for almost 10 years. I'm sure you are surrounded by expert doctors but if you have any questions my Dr. brother has become quite the expert to help treat my dad. You are a rockstar with what you have accomplished while sick! Thanks for the inspiration! 🙂

  3. I'm stressed out just reading this! Everything sounds so overwhelming and busy, busy, busy. AND it's all happening while you're ill? I hope you find time, and Dave supports in you finding that, to rest, recover, and figure out the very best way to take care of yourself physically so you can also be there for your family. Reminds me of the how they always say in the airplane safety talk "put your own oxygen mask on before helping others." If we don't follow that advise we run the risk of being be incapacitated from lack of oxygen ourselves and not being of any help to those around us.

  4. Sorry you've been so sick! I know just what you mean about having your mind run when you're supposed to be asleep! I've got a missionary coming home from South Korea and it's supposed to be an awesome day! But I didn't sleep a wink all those mother worries got in the way! It's still gonna be great, I just wish I'd had a little more sleep for this big day!

  5. "Continual problem of children ignoring their mother". I thought I was the only mom that had that problem! I am beginning to think I need to get my son's hearing checked. Ha ha!
    I pray you feel better soon. You have a double whammy with Hoshimoto's and Valley fever. Make sure to rest or you will be even sicker by the time of Max's graduation – seriously!!! Delegate, delegate, delegate and don't be afraid to ask for help. I have seen people get complete exhaustion as their bodies are fighting off illness.
    So glad you have such great friends and family to visit and to spend time with. Great memories.
    I so loved President Eyring's talk as well. Touched my heart so much.
    Prayers for you and your family!

  6. That photo of your awesome dad, with his sideline sushi snack, made me smile. It was provident of your parents to visit when you were sick and husbandless.

    Isn't it rude of our bodies to start breaking down when we have a full life scheduled? Hopefully you can get a lot of sleep and rest the next few weeks. Sleep, sleep sleep!

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